The Calgary Flames came into Dallas on Sunday evening hoping to avoid their habitual second period slump, something that’s plagued their team over their past three or four games. Well, they overcame their iffy second period start with a pair of key power play goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

The Rundown

The Flames opened the scoring midway through the first period off a dandy little passing play. Matthew Tkachuk had the puck behind the net, passed it to Elias Lindholm in the corner, and he found Andrew Mangiapane at the front of the net for a redirect past Ben Bishop to make it 1-0 Flames.
But the lead didn’t last very long, as just 38 seconds later Denis Gurianov turned on the jets, beat out Noah Hanifin in a footrace and chipped the puck past David Rittich’s glove hand to tie the game at 1-1.
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Shots were 9-7 Flames and scoring chances 6-4 Flames in the first period.
The Flames were back on their heels a bit to open the second period, but a pair of Flames power plays basically swung the game.
On the first, with Corey Perry in the box, some nice puck movement really got the Stars running around in their own zone. That confusion and passing allowed Tkachuk to lean into a shot that went through Bishop to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
 
With Jamie Benn in the box, the Flames went to work again. More nice passing led to a tap-in for Sean Monahan in front of the net to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
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Shots were 11-11, but scoring chances were 7-5 Stars in the second period.
The Flames put this game out of reach midway through the third period, as Mikael Backlund drove the net and beat Bishop with the rebound. The Stars challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal stood.
Derek Ryan added an empty netter to make it a 5-1 final. Shots were 10-9 Flames and chances 7-6 Stars in the third period.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames were perfectly okay at five on five. Without their special teams, maybe they could’ve grinded out a close win. But their best players were at their best with the extra man, and that gave them a ton of breathing room in what’s been a tough building for them to win in.
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Red Warrior

Let’s go with Tkachuk, who had the game-winning goal, four shots, and overall was noticeable all game long.
Stick tap to Rasmus Andersson for this beautiful reaction to Backlund’s goal.

The Turning Point

They scored two power play goals in less than two minutes in the second period. That’s usually enough to swing a close game.

The Numbers

Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Face-Off%
Game
Score
Hamonic
64.7
46.7
1.200
Hanifin
63.6
42.9
0.650
Lucic
62.5
36.4
0.400
Tkachuk
59.1
12.5
2.650
Mangiapane
56.0
22.2
1.125
Ryan
52.4
30.0
1.670
Bennett
52.4
27.3
-0.070
Lindholm
52.2
12.5
2.390
Brodie
50.0
50.0
-0.025
Gaudreau
46.2
80.0
0.050
Giordano
45.8
50.0
0.775
Monahan
44.0
80.0
1.435
Jankowski
43.8
50.0
-0.110
Backlund
43.3
81.8
0.785
Rieder
38.5
66.7
0.525
Rinaldo
33.3
50.0
-0.325
Stone
30.8
33.3
-0.035
Andersson
30.4
40.0
-0.450
Rittich
1.850
Talbot

This and That

The Flames won the season series against Dallas (capturing four points to Dallas’ three) despite never beating the Stars in Calgary. The road team won every game.

Up Next

The Flames (19-14-5) are off to Minnesota. They visit the Wild tomorrow afternoon in their final game before Christmas.
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